Tri-State equestrian group prepares for Special Olympics

Updated: Aug. 18, 2017 at 9:16 AM EDT
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CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

Like the Special Olympics motto, bravery inspired a group of Clermont County kids to compete in a sport most fans don't even know is part of the games.

Shawn Hurdle's favorite horse Annie may be a little camera shy, but she's far from reserved.

"I haven't had any issues, for the most part she's a good horse," said Shawn.

Shawn rides Annie at Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship in Clermont County once a week for an hour.

The past few months, that time has been dedicated to training for the Ohio Special Olympics.

"They're just so much fun and they work so hard," said CTR&H Riding Director Beth Compton.

It's the first time CTR&H is sending a team of riders to the games.

This group has been riding for years, but instructor Fran Roland says now riders' resources and confidence lines up with their talent.

"A lot of them do have some social disabilities where they don't talk a lot to people, they're very shy but riding they have come out of their shell," said Roland.

During the games, riders will be inside a ring for ten minutes.

Each competitor will be judged on walking their horse, changing direction, stopping, balance and trotting.

"Win or lose, it doesn't matter, we're here to have a great time," said Compton.

Riders with CTR&H will compete Saturday afternoon at Winton Woods.

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